Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after striking out with a runner on second to end the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on May 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The Dodgers bend but don’t break bullpen broke Thursday night in a 3-1, extra-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants in the first of a four-game series.
In the decisive 10th inning, Dodger reliever J.P. Howell got Gregor Blanco to fly out, but he then walked Angel Pagan. Out went Howell and in came Jamey Wright, who promptly walked the bases loaded. Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly to score Pagan and give the Giants a 2-1 lead. Brandon Belt added insurance with a broken bat, run scoring single to left to put San Francisco up 3-1.
Howell (1-3) took the loss.
Sergio Romo pitched a perfect 10th inning for his 11th save of the season. Santiago Casilla (1-0) got the win after pitching 1 ⅓ scoreless innings in relief. Ryan Vogelsong had a strong outing for the Giants. He went 7 ⅓ innings and allowed one run on five hits.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Drew Butera hit a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Matt Kemp. It was Butera’s fifth RBI of the season.
Dodgers starter Josh Beckett was cruising into the seventh having retired seven straight Giant hitters. Brandon Hicks ended that streak loudly, tying the game 1-1 with his sixth home run of the year over the left field wall.
Beckett (0-1) was pulled in the inning after getting a ground out and surrendering a double.. He had another solid start tossing 6 ⅔ innings, allowing five hits, one run, he struck out four and walked three.
"Except for that one pitch, he was pretty much flawless tonight," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "It’s another encouraging outing. It’s disappointing we can’t get him a win because he’s pitched well pretty much every time he’s gone out."
"We feel good about how he’s pitching, but he can only do so much. He’s doing what you ask a guy to do which is to go out and keep you in the game," Mattingly said.
Beckett didn’t factor in the decision, which extended his streak to 14 consecutive starts without a win.
Adrian Gonzalez should’ve had three hits and a couple of RBIs, but the lefty shift applied by Giants manager Bruce Bochy turned those would-be hits into ground outs to the shortstop and second baseman.
Juan Uribe was taken out of the game in the eighth inning with soreness in his right hamstring. There was no information on how severe the injury was. The team says he’ll be evaluated before Friday’s game.
With the loss, the Dodgers are now 3-6 in extra-inning games. They are now 3 ½ back of the Giants in the NL West.